Landstar System’s fourth quarter revenue rose 22.1 percent to $717.5 million, powered by a significant increase in freight volume and an “extra” week.
The truckload group’s net profit jumped 35.3 percent to $32.6 million in the quarter, while its operating margin rose from 36.4 percent a year ago to 45 percent. For the full year, Landstar’s profit jumped 30.5 percent to $112.9 million while total revenue climbed 10.4 percent to a record $2.65 billion.
The results gave Chairman, President and CEO Henry Gerkens more cause to be optimistic and less reason to be cautious about trucking’s outlook in 2012.
“Revenue growth was driven by continued strength in revenue per load and a significant increase in volumes over the prior year fourth quarter,” said Gerkens.
Year-over-year, loads hauled by Landstar’s independent drivers and third-party brokerage carriers increased 13.7 percent to 378,080 loads in the quarter.
“I estimate that the extra week in the 2011 fourth quarter contributed approximately $25 to $30 million in additional revenue,” Gerkens said.
Although the first quarter is the weakest freight-shipping season of the year, freight volumes and revenue per load were comparatively strong in January, he said.
“I expect that strength to continue into 2012,” Gerkens said.